- Press Release
- August 19, 2022
NASA ARC Internal Memo: Prohibition on Feeding Wildlife and Feral Animals
Date: Tue Dec 19, 2006
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Centerwide Announcement
Subject: Message from the Associate Center Director for Institutions and Research – Prohibition on Feeding Wildlife and Feral Animals
Message from the Associate Center Director for Institutions and Research Prohibition on Feeding Wildlife and Feral Animals
I would like to remind you all of the importance of complying with Center policies prohibiting feeding of wildlife, domestic animals, and feral animals at Ames (APR 8800.3, Environmental Handbook, Chapter 21).
Wildlife species normally control their populations based on availability of food. When food is set out or food waste is left out, wildlife populations will increase and certain species may become pests. Recently, wildlife activity has caused extensive damage to Ames’ facilities: squirrel activity caused two high voltage electrical short circuits that resulted in an estimated $450,000 of damage to two major substations; damage from rats chewing on a main power line temporarily closed the Ames Training and Conference Center, and is expected to cost over $200,000 to repair. In the past, flocks of pigeons attracted to food provided by humans, endangered pilots when they were struck by aircraft and caused over $350,000 in damage.
Predator populations may increase due to feeding, and because of the increased abundance of prey such as squirrels, pigeons, and rats. Predators identified at Ames include feral cats, skunks, Norway rats, and raccoons. Increased prey populations also attract hawks and other predators to the Airfield, creating an additional risk to pilots. These predators also threaten the endangered species found at Ames: the California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse. Ames has been notified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that it is at risk of violating the Endangered Species Act and other wildlife laws, and may be subjected to fines.
Violation of Ames animal feeding policies can create serious risks to the environment, employee health, safety, and diverts scarce Center resources from important mission activities. Employees who persistently disregard this policy will be subject to disciplinary actions ranging from a warning to dismissal.
For additional information, contact Dr. Ann Clarke, Chief, Environmental Services Division, ext. 4-1316, or Kay Hutchinson, Office of the Chief Counsel, ext. 4-1707.
Associate Center Director for Institutions and Research